Best Jobs for English Majors
By the time graduation comes around, many English literature students feel lost and confused about the future. Should they pursue a career in academia? Apply to business school? Get into freelance writing?
This may, in part, be because English is so often thought of as an "impractical" degree with no real world applications. What use does Shakespeare have to do with everyday life? In reality, though, the opposite is true. Over the course of this wide-ranging degree program, students learn essential skills that set them up for success in many different industries.
By the time they graduate, most English students have become talented communicators, adept at crafting compelling written and oral narratives. But they also have strong research and critical thinking skills, are able to work well independently and in teams, and excel at managing their own time. Perhaps most importantly, English graduates recognize that almost any issue can be examined from multiple perspectives—a quality that allows them to problem solve more effectively and connect more easily with those who are different from themselves.
Together, these skills make English Majors ideal candidates for a long list of careers. Here are just a few of the most common ones.
This article will be covering the following careers:
|Career||Avg Salary||Satisfaction||Your Match|
|Search Engine Marketing Specialist||$60k||3.0/5|
|High School Teacher||$63k||3.0/5|
|Public Relations Specialist||$67k||3.0/5|
|Social Media Manager||$37k||3.2/5|
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1. Search Engine Marketing Specialist
SEM, or search engine marketing, is a fast-growing field that employs hundreds of thousands of professionals each year. SEM specialists work with companies of all sizes to develop a stronger online presence, using a variety of techniques to increase traffic to their websites and social channels. This career path requires a creative but analytical mindset, an aptitude for writing, and solid research skills—all of which make it an ideal fit for an English major.
Search Engine Marketing Specialist
Search engine marketing (or SEM), is the process of using search engines for marketing and advertising purposes.
Copywriters are the wordsmiths behind many of the world's written communications. These talented individuals spend their days crafting compelling blog posts, articles, press releases, speeches, and more for a wide array of clientele. The job itself can look quite different depending on whether the copywriter works on a freelance basis or for a single employer, and on what kind of content they specialize in. With their dedicated work ethic and their sharp understanding of the written word, English literature graduates will excel in this evolving career.
Does the spelling mistake in this sentance really annoy you?
Many English students dream of one day becoming an author. While this job isn't for everyone, it can be incredibly fulfilling for the right person. Authors are sensitive and thoughtful individuals who use their writing skills to bring stories of all kinds to life. They may specialize in fiction or nonfiction, fantasy or mystery, adult or baby books. Whatever the niche, this career requires strong communication skills, a self-directed work ethic, and an appreciation of high quality storytelling.
Are you naturally inclined to think creatively?
4. High School Teacher
As many as 1 in 5 high school teachers have a background in English literature. This may be because they it's relatively easy to make the transition from learning a subject to teaching it. After completing a bachelor's degree, aspiring English teachers simply have to finish a teaching internship in their subject of choice and pass a licensing exam to become certified. For literature aficionados who enjoy working with young people, this can be an extremely rewarding career.
High School Teacher
A high school teacher is someone who prepares and teaches academic, technical, vocational or specialized subjects at public and private secondary schools, typically from grades 9-12.
The media landscape is changing rapidly, and careers in journalism look almost nothing like they did 20 years ago. As a result, today's journalists are more flexible, creative, and technically savvy than ever before. These changes offer both challenges and new opportunities for people interested in entering this field. English majors, with their critical thinking skills and ability to consider multiple perspectives at once, are a natural fit the role. With some time and experience, many of them will be crafting compelling narratives for print, digital, radio, podcast, or TV in no time.
A journalist is someone who investigates, collects and presents information as a news story.
6. Technical Writer
Technical writers can be found in a wide range of industries, including medicine, chemistry, information-technology, and engineering. These skilled professionals use their research and writing skills to transform complex ideas into easy-to-understand documentation. They may include charts, lists, images, and headings to help readers navigate the information; some even use humor to make their content more accessible. Requiring a love of language and an appetite for facts, this can be a rewarding career for many English majors.
A technical writer is someone who transforms complex and technically difficult written material into clear and concise documentation that will be read by target audiences.
7. Public Relations Specialist
Public relations (PR) specialists come from many different backgrounds—including English. This field has seen a lot of growth in the past decade, with many private companies and government organizations employing writers to boost their public profiles. Entering a career as a public relations specialist, English majors can expect to start with the grunt work: crafting copy for press releases, pitch letters, newsletters, and other content. But with a bit of time and experience, they'll quickly move up the ranks into more strategic positions.
Public Relations Specialist
A public relations specialist is someone who creates and maintains a favourable public image for their employer or client.
8. Content Manager
Content managers are the editors of the digital world. These talented professionals oversee all aspects of a company's website or blog, a task that can include creating, updating, and editing content of all kinds. Especially in larger companies, they may manage a team of writers, editors, and designers to ensure that everything they produce is of the highest quality as possible. This career requires strong skills in writing, organization, time management, and teamwork—all qualities that English majors possess.
Do you love writing or editing?
9. Social Media Manager
Social media manager isn't usually the first thing that comes to mind when people picture a writing career, but it's one of the most popular. In this line of work, English degree graduates can truly shine, using their literary chops to create clever social media content for clients of all sorts. Social media managers work for businesses and other organizations, overseeing their Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and other channels. Excelling in this fast-paced career requires a love of language, an investigative mind, and a healthy dose of tenacity—all qualities possessed by an English major.